ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Lawmakers to Consumers: 'You're Dummies'

Dunce Cap
The "experts" have spoken, and here's what they have to say: You're just too stupid to handle a label on your food that says "this product contains genetically engineered ingredients."

Members (see the list here) of the subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, along with four of their hand-picked puppets (um, experts), met last week to pat themselves on the back for the great job GMO crops and foods are doing of feeding the world, providing better nutrition and slashing the use of pesticides.

Yep, they're all doing a heckuva job. Except that they aren't.

But the best part of their meeting was the part where they insulted you and every other educated consumer who believes that, at the very least, you should have the right to know if your food contains GMOs.

Here's what one of the experts—Dr. David Just, Co-Director, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs"—said at last week's meeting:

It is ignorance of the product, and it's a general skepticism of anything they eat that is too processed or treated in some way that they don't quite understand.

Oh, we understand, alright. Dr. Just works for Cornell, which is on Monsanto's payroll. Just like half the lawmakers in Washington who rode there on Monsanto's dime.

Read the article

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Stupid TalkRodney Davis

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13), (pictured) acting chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, convened a public hearing last week to "consider the benefits" of biotechnology.

The attendees—members of the subcommittee and their so-called "experts"—gushed over the wonderfulness of toxic, chemical-drenched crops and foods. But what they were really trying to figure out was how to sell the same old lies about Monsanto's Empire to "ignorant" consumers who "just don't understand" GMOs.

We think we should let Rep. Davis, and all the members of the subcommittee, and all their bankrolled "experts," know that they can insult us all they want"—but they can't fool us. Monsanto has not only failed to deliver on promises of higher yields, better nutrition, fewer chemicals and happier farmers. But the Gene Giant is also poisoning our food and fields.

We've provided all the names of the subcommittee members, and the experts, in case your representative is on the subcommittee, and you want to contact him or her individually.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture that you're not too stupid to understand a GMO label!

Call the subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture and tell members you're no dummy! 202-225-2171

 
 

ACTION ALERT

What Are They Hiding?usda foods logo

When consumers, 68 members of Congress, and food safety and animal welfare advocates objected to a new rule that could lead to contaminated poultry in grocery stores, and endanger the safety of workers who slaughter chickens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised the rule.

But good luck finding out what the new-and-improved Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule says. Because the USDA ain't sayin.'

Earlier this year, more than 100 groups (including the OCA) signed a letter to President Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to rescind what Food & Water Watch dubbed the "Filthy Chicken Rule." Hundreds of thousands of consumers also publicly opposed the rule.

How did the USDA respond? By making "secret" changes to the rule. And then working to push through a final version without public comment.

Maybe they're just too chicken to tell us the truth?

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced an amendment to the spending bill that would have prohibited the USDA from spending any funds to implement the new rule. DeLauro had this to say about the USDA's secret changes and refusal to allow comments:

I remain concerned this rule drops food safety oversight from USDA into the hands of the industry itself and places workers in jeopardy. The Administration needs to address the concerns raised by myself, other members of Congress, and worker, consumer and animal welfare advocates, as they continue to finalize the rule. The Administration should also publish the revised rule now, open a 120 day comment period, and hold public meetings around the country. We need more transparency and public health stakeholders need to receive due consideration.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: We want to know what's in the revised Poultry Modernization Act, and we want the agency to open a new public comment period so we can respond to the changes.

Read the press release

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Dear Hillary: Do the Right Thinghillary clinton

"Deal breaker." "Game Changer."

That's what consumers (and voters) are saying about potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's pro-GMO (and Monsanto-funded) stance.

Last week, we launched a MoveOn.org petition asking Hillary to dump Monsanto, and side with the 93 percent of consumers who want mandatory GMO labeling laws.

The signatures are piling up (more than 80,000 so far). And so are the comments.

Whether you're a Democrat, Independent, Libertarian or Republican, man or woman, young or old—if Hillary decides to run in 2016, you'll have to choose.

If the signers of our petition are any indication, voters won't choose a pro-Monsanto, pro-GMO candidate.

We want at least 250,000 signatures on this petition. And when we get them, we're planning a big media splash. If you've already signed, could you share our petition far and wide this week? Thanks!

Read some of the comments from petition signers

TAKE ACTION: Hillary Clinton: It's time to dump Monsanto and support public health, and regenerative, organic agriculture!

Watch Hillary promote Monsanto (approximately 29 minutes in)

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Up by the Roots

Up by the RootsSome of us met last week with a state legislator who's also a Harvard-educated farmer. When he's not hard at work growing food and feeding his community, he's raising hell in the state capital defending the rights of farmers and consumers.

He reminded us that the origin of the word "radical" is "root." And that if you want to make substantive changes, sometimes you've gotta be a little bit radical.

You've got to pull up the old by the roots, and plant the new.

Ten, maybe even five, years ago, GMO labeling was a radical idea. Today, 93 percent of Americans demand it.

And GMO labeling is just the beginning. We've got a food and farming system that isn't working. It's not working for our health. It's not working for family farmers. It's not working for the environment or the climate.

It's time to pull it up by its deeply-entrenched roots and plant anew. To do that, we're going to need a lot of hands.

We're going to need you.

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Oregon, Vermont and other states)

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Secrets of Food Marketing

Secrets of Food Marketing

No amount of marketing makes factory farming acceptable. Still, the advertising industry has a bag full of tricks to distract you from what really happens on factory farms.

Watch the video

 
 

TRAITOR BOYCOTT

Boycott a Brand, Win a T-Shirt

Cook Organic not the Planet T-ShirtWe're often asked, "If I boycott all the GMA brands, including the 'Traitor Brands,' what brands should I buy?"

That's why we created the "Buy Organic Brands that Support Your Right to Know," a campaign on the popular buycott.com mobile phone app to help consumers identify brands owned by companies that are spending millions to defeat GMO labeling laws.

It works like this. First, download the app (it's free), and sign up for our campaign. Then take your mobile phone with you to the store, and use the app to scan the barcode on products before you buy them.

The app will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand. Then it will cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in our "Right to Know" campaign.

To help promote the app, we're giving away a "Cook Organic, not the Planet" t-shirt every week to the consumer who scans the most items that week. You're automatically entered in the contest just by using the app.

It's free. It's easy. And it sends a powerful message to the corporations competing for our dollars.

Download the Buycott app for your smartphone and join OCA's campaign

TAKE ACTION: Pledge to Boycott the 300-Plus Members of the GMA, Including the Traitor Brands!

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide

 
 

 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

essential reading for the week

GMA Loses Court Battle in Money-Laundering Scheme

Organic Consumers Fund Gives another $100,000 to GMO Measure in Oregon

The Best Sustainable Fish to Eat in the Summer

A Social Justice Issue We Can Sink Our Teeth Into: Factory Farming

Study: Vegetarian Low Meat Diets Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

Truthout Interviews Dr. Jeff Ritterman on Roundup and Chronic Kidney Disease

Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

6771 South Silver Hill Drive - Finland, MN 55603 - Phone: 218-226-4164 - Fax: 218-353-7652

Subscribe - Past Issues - PDFs